Overnight storms down trees, flood streets, cut power

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A line of severe thunderstorms with high winds, golf ball-size hail and reports of tornadoes swept from west to east in the northern tier of the state, leaving a path of destruction from Grand Forks, North Dakota to the Minnesota Arrowhead.

“We’re talking 60-65-75 mph gusts,” Bill Barrett with the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks told the Grand Forks Herald, where a tornado warning set off sirens shortly after 8:30 p.m. as storm circulations were spotted on radar west of the city. The weather service received preliminary reports of funnel clouds near Larimore, North Dakota and Crookston before 9 p.m.

Grand Forks Police advised drivers to stay off city streets and use caution because of street flooding and downed trees. The newspaper reported knee-deep water in the area around the University of North Dakota campus. The flash flood warning there expired at 2 a.m.

As the fast-moving system moved west, it created havoc in the northeastern part of Minnesota. Thousands remain without power early Tuesday morning, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Minnesota Power reported nearly 7,500 customers without power in the region and Lake Country Power reported nearly 11,400 customers without power as of 2 a.m. That number increased overnight.

There are reports of trees down in the Aitkin, Hill City and Floodwood areas along with flash flooding reported in Thief River Falls.

KARE 11 reports many trees down in Aitkin County due to high winds, with damage centered near McGregor and Big Sandy Lake.

Hail was reported early Tuesday in Ogilvie and Long Prairie, the Star Tribune reports.

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